Two Republican bills introduced last
week in Kansas seek to undermine the Supreme Court's 2015 ruling that
struck down state laws and constitutional amendments excluding gay
and lesbian couples from marriage.
Introduced by Kansas Rep. Randy Garber,
the bills have the support of several Republican lawmakers.
The “Marriage and Constitutional
Restoration Act” labels the LGBT community as a “denominational
sect that is inseparably part of the religion of secular humanism”
and describes sexual orientation as “faith-based.”
The bill goes on to state that unlike
heterosexual unions, “parody” marriages violate the establishment
clause of the 1st Amendment of the U.S. Constitution,
which prohibits the government from “establishing” a religion.
“Marriage policies that endorse
marriage between a man and a woman are secular in nature for purposes
of the establishment clause of the 1st amendment of the
constitution of the United States, insofar as the policies accomplish
their purpose, fulfill a compelling state interest and do not put
religion over non-religion in their making and in their enforcement,
unlike parody marriage policies,” the bill states.
A second bill, titled the “Optional
Elevated Marriage Act,” claims that same-sex marriages “erode
community standards of decency, unlike secular marriage between a man
and a woman, who have reached the age of consent.”
Speaking with the Wichita Eagle,
Garber admitted that the bill's language was “kind of harsh.”
“Their marriage probably doesn't
affect me – their union or whatever you want to call it,” he
said. “But in my opinion, they're trying to force their
beliefs on society.”
Neither bill is expected to become law;
Democratic Governor Laura Kelly is a strong supporter of LGBT rights.
her first official act as governor, Kansas' Laura Kelly signs LGBT
Similar bills introduced last year in
South Carolina and Wyoming died without receiving a hearing.